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Sanitation workers fined $2,000 each for $10 tip

June 25, 2013 at 4:23 PM

NEW YORK, June 25 (UPI) -- The city Conflict of Interest Board in New York fined a pair of sanitation workers $2,000 each for a $10 tip they received for hauling off a big pile of trash.

The board ruled Monday to fine Robert Bracone, a 26-year veteran of the department, and Rene Torres, a 23-year veteran, after hearing of a Dec. 12, 2011, incident at a three-story building in Queens' Corona neighborhood, the New York Daily News reported Tuesday.

The board said a resident placed trash including five bags of household garbage, two bags of recyclables, two bundles of wood, a rug and two wooden boards at the side of the curb and Torres then asked about $20 he said the resident's girlfriend had promised them as a tip.

"The resident informed us that he had only $10. Bracone and I then removed all the waste, after which the resident gave Bracone and me five dollars each," Torres told the board.

Torres and Bracone admitted to soliciting gratuities, a violation of a policy against city employees using their jobs to "to obtain a personal benefit," as well as a policy banning a "public servant" from "receiving compensation except from the city for performing any official duty."

The men, who retired while the investigation was ongoing, were each fined $2,000.

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